While the worldwide pandemic continued its grip on society over the last 12 months, The Meadowlands managed to make the best of 2021 and will conclude the year Friday (Dec. 31) night with a 14-race program that features not one, but two carryovers sure to entice The Big M faithful, who will have gone 12 days without action at the mile oval when the first race gets underway at 6:20 p.m.
There’s an added bonus: Beginning at 6 p.m., on-track guests can receive a free 2022 calendar filled with photos of the equine stars of 2021.
The Meadowlands will race this Friday, and go dark on Saturday (Jan. 1) before gearing up for its usual Friday-Saturday schedule, effective Jan. 7.
After zero favourites managed to win any of the races in the sequence, the 20-cent Pick-5 failed to yield a winning ticket when the last race card took place on Dec. 18, creating a carryover of $38,923 for this Friday.
Big M fans figure to fire away, since all of the Pick-5 races – as well as 13 of the 14 races on the night – will sport full 10-horse fields.
This will be the first Pick-5 carryover since Jan. 2, when the final pool was a massive $360,948.
This time around, the final pool is estimated to reach $150,000 and the bet – as always – sports a low 15 per cent takeout. A negative takeout pool – where the return to bettors is greater than the “new money” that will be pushed through the windows – looms.
Big M TV’s Dave Brower and Jessica Otten will take an extended look at the Pick-5 and give out tickets during the pre-game show.
The 20-cent Pick-6 also failed to yield a winning ticket on Dec. 18, and that pool will begin with $6,131 in the hat. The last Pick-6 to see a carryover was on Dec. 17 when the total pool was $55,626. That figure figures to be much higher this time around.
The last day of the year will mark the end of a good 12-month run for the track, from a business perspective anyway.
“New Year’s Eve marks one of the greatest comeback stories in Meadowlands history,” said track chief operating officer and general manager Jason Settlemoir. “We have been able to overcome the pandemic as our faithful followers have our average nightly handle at $3 million.
“Our four big days of racing – the Hambletonian, Breeders Crown, Meadowlands Pace and Fall Final Four/TVG Finals were all highly successful. On Hambletonian Day, we wagered $6.4 million to end our Winter-Spring-Championship Meeting with an average handle of $3.3 million per card.”
In addition, annual total handle at The Meadowlands has increased over $100 million as compared to just three years ago.
New Year’s Eve at The Big M will offer great racing ... and a whole lot more.
“The Big M offers a great party with great food, along with wagering on a big carryover as well as the College Football Playoff in our FanDuel Sportsbook,” said Settlemoir. “After the races, we will close out 2021 with a huge fireworks display to ring in the New Year. The Meadowlands promises to be one of the most exciting New Year’s Eve venues in the Metropolitan area with an incredible evening of non-stop action Friday night.”
NEW YEAR’S EVE IN PINK: A great way to spend New Year’s Eve is in Pink Restaurant at The Meadowlands.
There is a sumptuous buffet available for $64.95 and includes a complimentary glass of celebratory champagne for those 21 years of age and older.
Reservations can be made by calling 201-THE-BIGM.
BET THE CFP AT THE FDS: They’ll be plenty of action for horseplayers on the New Year’s Eve card at The Meadowlands, but they’ll also be plenty of action for college gridiron fans as well, as the College Football Playoff will take place with a pair of games certain to take tons of play. The winners of the semifinal tilts will meet for the National Championship on Jan. 10.
So, you want to bet on the games? You can do so inside the grandstand at The Big M in the FanDuel Sportsbook.
The first semifinal gets underway at 3:30 p.m., where the Crimson Tide of Alabama are a 13-1/2-point favourite over the Bearcats of Cincinnati. Alabama is -590 on the money line and the under/over is 57.
In the late game – which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. – the Georgia Bulldogs are a 7-1/2-point choice over the Michigan Wolverines. Georgia is -280 on the money line and the under/over is 45½.
New Year’s Day (Jan. 1) will see many college bowl games, followed the following day (Jan. 2) by Week 17 of the National Football League with many games having playoff implications.
Watch and wager on all the games in the FanDuel Sportsbook, where the hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.-1 a.m.; Friday 10 a.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday 7 a.m.-2 a.m. and Sunday 8 a.m.-12 a.m.